For immediate release: Monday, June 09, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Like millions across the world our hearts ache for the families who have suffered and are suffering because of the stunning callousness and deceit by Catholic officials who ran the now infamous Tuam center for unwed mothers. We simply can’t imagine the horrors they have endured and the lifelong trauma that suffering has caused.
The horror at Tuam will be dealt with adequately, we believe, only if the women who suffered there can overcome their grief enough to band together and seek justice. We hope they will do so.
History shows that healing, justice and truth-telling happens best when those who are hurt move beyond their pain and shame and organize.
As Frederick Douglass once said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
We beg the women whose babies and toddlers were taken from them at Tuam to first and foremost take good care of themselves, by sharing their pain with others they love and trust, and by seeking professional help from independent sources.
But we also beg them to reach out to one another, and to independent sources of help, and use their voices to advocate for themselves and other mothers who have been exploited by Catholic officials.
Then, we call on every single Irish priest to reach out to as many of the moms of these horrible homes and beg them to share their stories, get help and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)